Missionary physician Tom Catena awarded the 2017 Aurora Prize for his work in South Sudan

The name of the winner Aurora Prize 2017 fell. It is Doctor Tom Catena, of American nationality, among the finalists as remarkable as each other, this Saturday, May 28 in Yerevan, Armenia

Unique doctor permanently based for 9 years in the Nuba Mountains in South Sudan, where 750 people live, Doctor Tom Catena works tirelessly to care for the people of this war-torn region. Amid an ongoing conflict between the Government of the Sudan and the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement, Dr Catena has saved countless lives at the Mother of Mercy Catholic Hospital, the only fully functioning hospital in the region. During the meetings preceding the ceremony in Yerevan (Armenia) where the awards ceremony took place, Dr Catena did not fail to say with force that his commitment was above all motivated by the Love of Christ in his heart. .

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The 7 finalists each receive a contribution of $ 100. As for the 000 winner, the committee has just awarded him $ 2017 million which must be directed to organizations pursuing humanitarian goals in the continuity of the nominees.

Recall that the Aurora Prize was initiated by prestigious patrons, such as the Elie Wiesel Foundation, Carnégie New York, or Hollywood stars such as George Clooney, member of the current committee, or wealthy Armenian personalities.

Originally, the leaders created the Aurora Foundation with the clear desire to continue the work of remembrance of the survivors of the Armenian genocide of 1915, through this humanitarian patronage. But also to encourage and recognize initiatives all over the world, where the peace and security of vulnerable people are threatened.

Yes, we can make the connection between the survivors of the Armenian genocide and the survivors of all genocides. I am thinking particularly of the thousands of Armenian women and girls throwing themselves into the Euphrates river to escape their torturers. To the tens of thousands of orphaned children who survived the mass deportations, in nudity and hunger.

And how can we not salute here the heroic commitment of men and women, especially from Europe, to protect, care for, accompany and welcome these thousands of Armenian orphans. I am thinking of these women missionaries from Scandinavia, Germany and Switzerland who have done an exceptional job, opening reception structures in Syria, Lebanon and Greece in particular.

Among these forgotten or completely anonymous heroes, the pastor Jacob Kunzler and his wife Elisabeth who organized in 1922 the rescue of 8000 orphans, from the hospital of Urfa in the south-east of present-day Turkey.

Le Doctor Mukwege was present in Yerevan this Sunday May 28, as a finalist with 6 other nominees. He expressed his gratitude with humility and emotion.

The Christian community in general and the evangelical family in particular are proud to see that disciples of Christ are on the front lines on the front lines. How can we forget those who have fallen while serving, such as Dr Gildo from South Kivu, very close to Denis Mukwege and personally trained at Panzi Hospital in Bukavu. He was murdered just a few weeks ago.

May God strengthen and sustain all of these heroes and all of the faithful disciples.

Pierre YEREMIAN

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